Bespoke Aluminium & GRP Access Platforms, Hanger Doors & Access Walkways

The London Division of VCUK were contracted to undertake a refurbishment of an existing Victorian accommodation block comprising of three wings springing from a central rotunda at HMP Wandsworth.

Part of the works required the London Division to undertake redecoration of the existing vaulted ceiling located over the atrium to each of the wings.

The problem
In the tender a traditional tube and fitting scaffold had been allowed for on all three of the wings as the means of access. The scaffold was designed to be sited on the level 2-association floor area and rise up 3 levels to a level that afforded access to the soffit of the vaulted ceiling and would run the length of the of the atrium approx. 20m.

The suitability of the scaffold access was reviewed during the construction period and was considered inappropriate due to the following reasons;

  1. Some works to the lower levels would be prohibited by the scaffold thus affecting the programme
  2. Access around the site would be more difficult due to the scaffold thus slowing down progress of other works.
  3. The dismantle and erection process would take approx. 5 days impacting on the programme
  4. A large portion of the scaffold is wasted, as all it does is provide support for a working platform that is 7m from its base.
  5. High cost approx. £44,000 because of the support structure required to achieve the correct working platform height.
  6. Manual handling issues – large volumes of scaffold components would be required to erect the access platform.
  7. Risk of falling from height increased due to the duration of the erection process
  8. Conveying scaffold components through the building presented a risk in so far that a scaffold tube or board could strike a person, if segregation routes could not be determined.


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Aluminium Structures (work platforms) Ltd
Unit 5a, Aviation Park
Flint Road
Saltney Ferry,
United Kingdom
  • + 44 1244 531889